Shravan's parents were hermits. Once they told him that they had become quite aged. They, therefore, wanted him to take them to the forty places of pilgrimage, it is a typical Hindu belief that a pilgrimage to the various shrines and holy places undertaken in old age, purifies the soul. At the time, transport was scarce and costly, and Shravan Kumar could not afford it. He decided to put each parent in a basket and tie each to an end of a bamboo pole, which he would shoulder while on their pilgrimage.
The blind hermit and his wife mourn their son, who was slain accidentally by Dasaratha
According to the legend in Ramayana, while hunting in the forest of Ayodhya, then-Prince Dashratha heard a sound near a lake and unleashed an arrow, hoping to hit an animal. When he crossed the lake to collect his kill, he found that his arrow had fatally struck a teenage boy who was bleeding. The boy, Shravan Kumar, told Dasaratha, that he had come to the lake to collect water for his sick and aged parents, who were both blind and who he had been carrying on a sling. With his dying breath, Shavran requested the prince to take water to his parents and to tell them what happened. After telling his tale, Shravan succumbed to his wounds and when Dasaratha took water for his parents and told them of his tragic mistake, they were unable to bear the shock. Despite aknowledging that it was an accident, they cursed Dasaratha that he too would experience "Putrashoka" (Sanskrit, "putra" is child/son and "shoka" is grief; grief due to loss of a son).
Local tradition holds that the place where Shravan died was named Sarvan (Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh). The spot where Dashratha shot his arrow came to be known as Sarwara and the place where Shravan's parents died is called Samadha. An old and rough memorial for Shravan on the banks of the lake is now withering away. It is said that there lies a stone statue of Shravan Kumar and as he died of unquenched thirst, if water is poured into the navel of the stone figure, the hole never gets filled up. Villagers from Sarvan and adjoining places visit the spot every Monday to offer prayers to Shravan, who is revered as a dutiful son.